Monday, 19 August 2013

Kickstarter roguelikes

There was a long post by URR (Ultima Ratio Regum) developer about Cult, a kickstarter RL project that now possibly has failed, because the developer can't create the game he was talking about.

What I find amazing is not why projects like Cult fails, but the way people are willing to support almost anything. In other words, let me phrase this carefully: people are idiots.

Well, there is nothing new in this, because people also buy poor commercial games. However they at least get something in return, an actual game.

Not just average developers try their luck with Kickstarter, but also old and young professional developers. One of the worst examples is Richard Garriott, one of my childhood heroes. He had the money to continue Ultima series when he wanted, but only when Kickstarter made it possible to ask money he did so.

Also, I want to correct something Darren Grey said about Kaduria in a comment. He included Kaduria to the list of big, over-scoped projects as he said. He is wrong. Kaduria was never an over-scoped project like, let's say, URR. The development time has been long for other reasons and rather than following the usual development history of a failed project it has followed a different path.


  1. My apologies if I misunderstood Kaduria, but I've always classed it in the same group of big projects that may never see release. Obviously you're still working on it, and better yet you've released other games, but it's still not something I hold my breath for. You say "people are idiots", but there are enough in the roguelike community that are wary of big promises, and that's exactly why Kaduria isn't taken very seriously by many.

    I hope you do succeed of course, but I thought the same of Cult, UR, URR, Incursion, etc...

  2. Development doesn't depend on how seriously people take it. I'm aware of the procrastination related to Kaduria and that many expect games to be completed in much shorter time. However I don't see it that way and that's why I haven't quit.

  3. Hah - you've said the people-are-idiots issue with a bluntness I just wasn't willing to. I largely agree, but I think it's more that people are too kind and just willing to give developers the benefit of the doubt too readily. Then again, the opposite also happens when people assume nothing but failure (say, the story of Fez?). Few observers seem willing to understand that things will sometimes go well, sometimes slowly, for lots of external reasons like you mention about Kaduria, and in my case because so much of even my "spare" time is taken up with doctorate-related stuff atm.

    Secondly, I wouldn't consider URR an over-scoped project; maybe it was at the start, but not any more. But then - who WOULD consider their project over-scoped? Nobody is ever going to start a project (I hope) that they don't believe they can finish. Nobody has ever said "this project is too big - let us begin at once!". As I tried to mention in my post, it's easy to look at someone else's grand project, say "ha! That's far too big", then look back at your own and not say that, because only you can see into your head and know whether you'll make it or not. I mean, I know I do that. And I'm sure others with their own big projects look at MINE, say it's impossibly huge, then consider their own masterpieces to be attainable. Ultimately big (or long-term) projects just seem like situations where, to use the cliche, only time will tell...

  4. The game world alone is over-scoped in URR (not to mention other features). It takes thousand years just to visit all places.

  5. The proof will be when the games are released.

  6. I for one cannot seem to produce a computer game outside of the strict constraints of the 7DRL. I need that time limit or I don't get anything done.

  7. @ Joseph - having released several versions to date, I agree. That is the only way to really know whether a project is over-scoped or not.